# Saturday, 26 July 2003

Seeing As Im Off To Play Somewhere Else For A Couple Of Weeks An Odd Time To Say It But Zeepe 7 RC 1 Is Availabl

Seeing as I'm off to play somewhere else for a couple of weeks, an odd time to say it but....

Zeepe 7 RC 1 is available over at zeepe.com.

This allows you to do witty things like toolbars etc that are described using XHTML tags (the zeepe: namespace), support javascript event handlers etc and are drawn by the native code so they look right on all Windows platforms.

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# Friday, 25 July 2003

Loads OK I Exaggerate Of Microsoft Program Managers Have Taken Issue With My Comment That A Hrefhttpwwwprofundis

Loads (OK I exaggerate...) of Microsoft program managers have taken issue with my comment that Scoble is loosing his marbles.

In the face of evidence such as this, I admit that fewer marbles have rolled off Mr Scoble's dinner table than I might have supposed and he does indeed have more that half a foot left in reality.

And if the IE program manager would like to contact me and fill me in on the scoop about ielementbehaviorlayout and why the notifications don't come in as documented I'll be very grateful <g>. I know this is old technology compared to .NET, but Longhorn is a few years off.....

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# Wednesday, 23 July 2003

RapTier CVB Database Code Generation Tool Besides New Features Im

RapTier. C#/VB database code generation tool. Besides new features, improved templates and fixed reported bugs, RapTier now has two editions: Lite and Professional. RapTier Lite is FREE. Enjoy! Multi-tier application development has never been easier! ! [123aspx Newest ASP.NET Resources]
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# Monday, 21 July 2003

A HrefhttpblogsgotdotnetcomBradApermalinkaspx854c457d9d7b41fb8c

Initial PDC Breaks published. [via Brad Abrams]

Hmmm, let me see - All of Client, all of web applications, most of server and a bit of architecture and languages look useful. What is the "Whidbey" timeframe, can't remember.

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# Saturday, 19 July 2003


.. an essay on the fact that the user experience of the Net is ripe for revolution, and proposed that we start telling the world that if they use any browser but Microsoft Internet Explorer, they will have a better browsing experience. [ongoing]

In which essar we find:

We need a tight, crisp “Use a Better Browser” button that has a mouse-over and is linked to a message somewhere, and the message is simple:

If you were looking at this in any browser but Microsoft Internet Explorer, it would look and run better and faster.

I’d put one of those buttons on ongoing if it was good. I bet a few thousand other bloggers would too, if a few of us took the lead.

Now the trouble is, I've looked at the ongoing essay using IE 6 (OK, I'm using Zeepe 7 RadioCase, but its the IE renderer) and using Gecko based Phoenix. I can see no visual difference what-so-ever and it doesn't run any faster under Pheonix (it has a new name now, can't offhand remember what it is). And that's the trouble, Gecko et al may (do!) have better standards support, are likely to have some development over the next couple of years, will have a development path for OSs other than Longhorn but until such time as there is a demonstrable reason for switching on the generality of web pages, people are not going to switch. A plethora of web pages telling a story (...it would look better...) that isn't really true is not going to help.

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Xopus Re

Xopus response. Working on Xopus is really fun and challenging, but when you read this then you know that's really why you don't mind working long hours. [Sjoerd Visscher's weblog]

Way way back pre-release I saw showed great promise. I think this would be really nice wrapped up in a Zeepe 7 frame.

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A Hrefhttpnewsbbccoukgoclickrss091public1hiuk3077179stm

Weapons witness 'badly treated'. As the hunt for missing weapons expert David Kelly focuses on a body found, members of the committee that quizzed him reveal the level of pressure to which he was exposed. [BBC News | Front Page | UK Edition]

What was the line? Oh, I remember "Things can only get better!" - time for the (new) Establishment to pause and reflect I think and time for whatever/whoever this (new) Establishment's "men in grey suits" is/are to consider matters.

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# Friday, 18 July 2003

For Instance Today I Was Alpha Testing An App That The Team Im A Part Of

For instance, today I was alpha testing an app that the team I'm a part of is building. It wouldn't start up correctly, so one of the guys who's developing it, sauntered down to my office, played around with a few things on my system and answered definitively: "We need to put MSHTML into your GAC". [The Scobleizer Weblog]

Very interesting: Scoble evangelises Longhorn, its his job. The team is to do with Longhorn and the PDC, perhaps this alpha application is for that. Lets put 2+2 together and what do we get:

If he's running Longhorn, MSHTML can run on Longhorn - no surprises there. But, Longhorn as currently configured is not using MSHTML for its HTML rendering from managed apps - one would assume that MSHTML would ship in the GAC.

If he's not running Longhorn then just shows the problems of trying to write an app in .NET that uses HTML.

Personally, I reckon he's not running Longhorn - it'll be running on Tablet PCs

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# Thursday, 17 July 2003

Well Have An Answer To The Hidden API Thing At The PDC Even Today Our

We'll have an answer to the "hidden API" thing at the PDC. Even today our "shared source" initiatives would probably let him get a look inside our APIs (as an MVP I had access to the Windows source code). If you really need a look inside our source code, let me know, and I'll see what I can do to get you onto that program. [The Scobleizer Weblog]


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# Wednesday, 16 July 2003

Lets Say Youre A Small Guynbsp What Will Make You More Valueable

Let's say you're a small guy. ... What will make you more valueable? Your relationships with key program managers at Microsoft. Why is that? Well, let's see, if a client is hitting a wall, in, say C#'s new reflection features, and you can open your IM up and ask the guy who runs the C# team a quick question right in front of your client, think you'll get the job? [The Scobleizer Weblog]

Oh yeah, really, we can all chat to the program managers can we? Or just those who go to the PDC, manage to find the relevant guy and amonst all the other 1000s of developers also chasing him/her and manage to convince him/her that 'we' are the one to let the contact out too. I know he's an evangelist but Scoble is loosing touch with reality (as for at one point Gates asked something like "how can we do better for our customers?" - oh gawd, give me a break).

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# Monday, 14 July 2003


The ASP.NET HTTP Runtime. Dino Esposito looks at the constituent components of the HTTP runtime, the logic that drives the processing of individual requests directed to ASP.NET applications, and shows all the steps by which a HTTP request becomes plain HTML text. [MSDN Just Published]
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Open Source Licensing

Open source licensing. I'm getting ready to release at least one (and possibly more) open source projects. I just found this site that collects a vast array of "approved" open source licenses. I'm leaning towards the BSD license right now.[iunknown.com]

Gosh, there are so many. I wonder if there are so many proprietory licenses - most seem to be to be rooted in some mythical 'one' - the one from whose decendents everyone copies as the starting point for their own license.

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Convea Open Source

Convea Open Source. Adam Smith wrote me the other day out his company's open source project. I did a quick walk through of the demo and it has some really nice DHTML stuff. Its all classic ASP (I think), but it could help add a profesional touch to a lot of apps. [ScottW's ASP.NET WebLog]

Hmmmm, there may be something worth wrapping here, needs a closer look.

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# Wednesday, 09 July 2003

Marketing For Geeks Th

Marketing for Geeks. This is excellent: Marketing for Geeks, a series of articles (three at the moment) by Eric Sink. I've never really been interested in marketing but Eric got me hooked with geek friendly examples such as Paint Shop Pro and CityDesk and I ended up learning a great deal. The writing style is similar to that of Joel Spolsky, so if you enjoy Joel on Software you'll certainly enjoy this. [via Simon Willison's Weblog]

Good fun, I liked this bit: "... You have hired a marketing VP and assigned him ridiculous and unattainable goals just so you can watch him squirm." But, I don't agree with a lot of it - essentially its talking about markets rather than how to reach them (marketting) and it seems to be talking about products which are taken up because they are new and cool, only then do they become dull and boring and bought by everyone. This seems to leave out a whole market segment - those looking for something that works and is useful.

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# Saturday, 05 July 2003

Diagonal Shapes With CSS E

Diagonal shapes with CSS. Information on Border Slants (via Paul Hammond). Border slants are the effect whereby diagonal lines can be created using pure CSS, by taking advantage of the fact that thick borders around a box meet at an angle. This article describes the effect in detail and shows how it can be used to achieve a number of interesting shapes, then goes on to show off with an impressive Valentine's Day Heart. See also Tantek's awesome pentagon site map and A Study of Regular Polygons. [Simon Willison's Weblog]

The Study of Regular Polygons doesn't seem to work on IE6 but the Heart does, and the link from that page to an explanation ios worth following - I think that one leads to the rotating box demo. Wonderful what some people manage to squeeze out of DHTML+css.


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# Friday, 04 July 2003

A Hrefhttpnewsbbccoukgoclickrss091public1hibusiness304431

New tool for homebuyers. A new government website allows homebuyers to check what kind of neighbours they will be living with. [BBC News | Technology | UK Edition]

In my area, there's 5 villages, 1782 of us in 681 households. Apparently we're nice but I can't see broadband coming here can you?

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# Thursday, 03 July 2003

More on Avalon


The Avalon toolbox, which will replace the current graphics device interface (GDI), is expected to be a major productivity gain for ISVs and developers, sources said.

The Longhorn compilers, for instance, will use XML script files to create user-interface functions with a few lines of XML code that before would have required hundreds, if not thousands, of lines of C# coding. And the Longhorn software developer kit, which is also due out this fall, will come with prebuilt XML Application Markup Language (XAML) schemas for many UI functions, said sources briefed on Longhorn. [CRN]


At work, we constantly hit walls with WinForms. The worse part is we know that WinForms is done for if Longhorn includes the much demo'ed Desktop Compositing Engine (ala Avalon) and the Aero UI with its DirectX core API with a completely new managed CLR API and this XAML language. [David Morford]


"Win32 has like 76,000 APIs, and they're taking it down to 8,000 with Longhorn technology," said one source familiar with the plans.

Also in Longhorn, Microsoft plans to integrate a replacement for the Windows graphics device interface (GDI), code-named Avalon, that replaces the need to do manual coding with prebuilt, extensible XAML scripts. That means developers wouldn't have to access many APIs directly and instead can modify XAML scripts, sources said.

The Windows GDI currently interacts with device drivers on behalf of Windows applications. The next-generation XAML has new metatags and extensible schemas for user-interface structures and behaviors that are designed to simplify and increase the customization of the "jazzed up and 3-D oriented Longhorn GUI, code-named Aero," sources said.

"It's hard to use the shell now for an application," said another source familiar with the Longhorn plans. "Anything a shell can do, an application can do. So now a Windows application can inherit the behavior of the operating system with zero lines of code."  [iAppliance]


The compositing engine suggested requirements are a DirectX 9 capable GPU with 128MB of VRAM. What longhorn looks like at the moment is basically XP with a new Theme and a few new UI elements. This is a long way from what the final product will look like, and I expect it to have significantly higher system requirements by the time it is released. [Tablet PC Buzz.com - forum]

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Microsoft revamps ID management offering. Ships new identity server along with advice on deployment - InfoWorld [via Loosely Coupled news aggregator]...

... In conjunction with its new offering, Microsoft also introduced "Identity and Access Management Solution Accelerator," a new set of prescriptive guidelines created with Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP to help customers build and test identity management infrastructures... Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS) improves upon the software giant's Meta Directory Server through the addition of new features including automated account provisioning, the synchronization of identity information, and Web-based self-service password management capabilities...

Might be useful at some point.

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# Wednesday, 02 July 2003

Registrationless COM To NET Wrapper Tool Beta Auri

Registration-less COM to .NET Wrapper Tool Beta. Aurigma has posted the beta for a COM to .NET wrapper generation tool that doesn't require the COM server to be registered, which is nice for hosted scenarios. It also generates the wrapper code for you to see and edit for your own purposes. Interesting.

Posted by Chris Sells on Tue, July 1, 2003 @ 12:50PM [Marquee de Sells: Chris's insight outlet]
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Weird Bill Gates On Longhorn USA Today Bl

Weird, Bill Gates on Longhorn (USA Today). Blimey he looks to have aged a lot, or I haven't seen a picture recently, and there is definitely something odd about that hair.

But this is the weirdest bit:

How far (is Longhorn) down the road?

BG: Years. At this time we're doing the prototyping — feasibility studies, performance studies. We don't have a date because what we have is a technological breakthrough that we have to really make sure we refine and get right. Then we'll get to the point where we'll set up an engineering schedule.

Perhaps someone should tell Scoble, perhaps someone should tell the chaps at the PDC. Worse, what he wibbles about in the article I would hardly call a technological breakthrough; heck much of it just sounds like yet another go at Active Channels but this time more tightly integrated into the UI than panels on the Active Desktop.

I dunno, is it me, but I really can't get over enthusiastic about a bit of software that tells me that the menu down the local restaurant has changed tonight. I suppose I'm dull boring and middle aged with kids and live in rural nowhere - I don't care whats on the menu tonight, I'd just like to go out!.

If the PDC is prototype code yet to go through feasability studies etc then its not worth going.

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I Just Downloaded A Copy Of A Hrefhttpwwwarioliccomactivesma

I just downloaded a copy of ActiveSMART after my BIOS told me to replace my HDD on my desktop computer. The only reason I noticed this was because I had to replace the power supply in my desktop... I found that this utility does a great job of telling me exactly what my HDD's are up to on my computer. It also helps to demystify for me exactly what S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics actually are. .... It's well worth the $24.95. [iunknown.com]

I use SCSI disks so got to check out what the ASPI driver is, but ActiveSMART looks useful if the box is on most of the time.

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Klip Folio Is The Sort Of Thing We Can Do And Should

Klip Folio

Is the sort of thing we can do, and should?

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A HrefhttpwwwtallentusweblogxPermaLinkaspx625017c7b91f4760a4c7

Richard Tallent lays out a compelling future for Internet apps. Then he asks "Scoble, am I close?" I am gonna hide behind the NDAs on this one. There's just too much to Longhorn to say whether or not this is close to what 2005+ will look like. See ya in late October! [The Scobleizer Weblog]

I reckon he's close, but then I thought they would do (much of this) years ago and look how wrong I've been - just what problem were HTAs meant to solve?

And if you want something that does some of this prior to 2005, then Zeepe 7 might be of interest.

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# Tuesday, 01 July 2003

In A Strange Corner Of The Galaxy Theres A Bunch Of People Arguing To And Fro And Often Not Too Nicely Or So Some Of Them

In a strange corner of the galaxy there's a bunch of people arguing to and fro, and often not too nicely (or so some of them say, but search as much as I can be bothered too, I can't find anything really nasty, not like the good olde days) over RSS and its mooted replacement echo (name to be changed 'cos its already used, not a good start). In this corner, RSS/echo is the pillar on which moderne society will be built, the next great killer app and the next thing on which someone will make a ton of money and change the world.

Meanwhile, in another corner of the galaxy, an article appeared in T2 of the Times yesterday from a journalist who'd investigated the new blogging world via 20six. Interesting - most of the bloggers on 20six are, apparently anonymous and, as far as I can see there's not a bit of RSS anywhere. Probably like a lot of other blogging services.

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